It is not certain that the known titles are actually Whistler's. Punctuation and capitalisation varies, as seen in these examples:
The Italian 'Graziosa e ritrosa' can be translated as 'Pretty and coy'; the French, 'La Jolie Mutine' may be translated as 'The pretty scamp' or 'pretty rebel'. Both agree on 'Pink and Silver.'
Avoiding the problems of translation, the French version, 'Rose et argent: La Jolie Mutine', has been generally accepted.
A full length portrait of a woman, standing on a brown floor, against a pale ochre wall. She stands with her body turned slightly to left, her head tilted to left (her right). Dark-eyed, she is looking to right, rather than at the viewer. She wears a black dress with a narrow waist and three-quarter length sleeves ending in black and white striped lace cuffs with deep zigzag edges; the broad tippet over her shoulders is a pleated material in a black and white check pattern, and also has a spiky zigzag edge. A black chiffon scarf round her neck is tied in a bow to left. Two small pink bows or flowers adorn the tippet. Her curly hair is black, with a short fringe, and she wears a tall, narrow bonnet adorned with red flowers and black lace, gauze or feathers. A curl of hair or feather curves across her cheek at left. Her hands are at her sides, holding stretched out between them a piece of material, probably a long glove.
The sitter has not been identified with certainty. She closely resembles the model for The Rose Scarf [YMSM 390].
A drawing of the sitter by Beatrice Philip (Mrs E. W. Godwin, Mrs J. McN. Whistler) (1857-1896), Study for 'Rose et argent: La Jolie Mutine' [M.1326] (originally attributed to Whistler), drawn possibly between 1892 and 1894, was inscribed, many years later, by Harold Wright, 'Mrs Whibley'. This may have been based on information from Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) , who should have known if it was a picture of her sister Ethel Whibley (1861-1920) . If so, it shows her as much younger and more vivacious than was usual in Whistler's portraits of her.
It is also possible that one of the other Birnie Philip sisters could have posed although there is no record of this.
Last updated: 22nd October 2020 by Margaret